The laws of marketing have undergone a significant modification if not already completely altered. In that, digital marketing has brought up a whole new array of possibilities and opportunities that can help the business owners reach their target audience.
Marketing is all about connecting with your audience at their preferred location. Don’t expect the customers (especially new customers) to come to you. You need to reach them, convince them that you have what they want, and still provide more value than what other businesses in a similar niche has to offer.
Digital Marketing, in itself, has a wide area of operation and applications. Any form of marketing that is done online is a part of Digital Marketing.
In this article, we are going to know about Digital Marketing in detail.
Let’s take a sneak peek into Digital Marketing first?
Internet usage is one the rise with every passing day. Pew Research has found that in the last 3 years, there has been a 5% increase in internet usage among the younger generation.
Now it is only evident that if the prospective customer is present on the internet, reaching them offline is not a good option. With this in mind, Digital marketing encompasses all such marketing efforts that leverage an electronic device and combines it with the internet. As a result, businesses can reach their customers via search engines, social media, email, and other mediums to connect with the customers.
If you are thinking that Inbound Marketing is the same as Digital Marketing, then think again. Inbound marketing is the name given to some specific forms of marketing practices like content, social media, among others. Digital Marketing, on the other hand, has a broader area of application and helps connect the users digitally.
Why should anyone use Digital Marketing?
The answer to this question can be given in two words; “Better Connectivity.”
What does a business need the most? Interactions with the customers, right? Because even if you have everything else, a state of the art product, value, low price, and the whole package. But you need buyers. And they will only come if you let them know that you have a product with a…, b…, c… properties.
What you need to do is connect the dots. Digital marketing is one of the ways, and I must say, one of the most promising ways to increase your brand awareness. You need to complete and execute your digital marketing strategy according to the buyer’s journey.
From creating awareness to helping them make a buying decision, everything has to be kept in mind. Digital marketing lets you appropriately approach your customers.
The customers, on their part, are also relying on the different aspects of digital marketing to increase their brand awareness.
You need to utilize a unique mix of strategies and tools if you want to get the desired results. And with digital marketing, experimentation is the key. There is no one size fits all approach here. You need to try a mix and match of creatives, content, graphics, and other factors to develop one promotional content that hits with the customers.
And don’t worry, you won’t be hitting blind arrows. There are all sorts of analytics tools that can help you monitor your advertisements and other forms of content. They are needed to increase your ROI of your campaigns.
Digital Marketing and Businesses:
Digital marketing is a way to grab your customer’s attention where they are, and in this case, it is online. The majority of the customers today are found on the web. Be it digital ads, campaigns, social media, emails, and whatnot.
If your customer is using any online channel, you need to go there and grab their attention. It is as simple as that.
Digital marketers have a goal. Their goals are varied. Some are small, others are big. Some set their goals for the local market, while others are looking to attract overseas customers.
Those who have set and precise goals can create such digital marketing strategies that support and helps them achieve their goals. There are a lot of channels on the web. Some are free, and others are paid.
You must use the right mix of these channels to increase the returns on your outreach efforts.
This is how it works:
A content marketer may create a series of blog posts that are targeted to acquire some organic traffic from the web. The motive of these blog posts is to increase engagement and get the traffic to provide their emails so that you can forward them your ebook.
Secondly, the social media handler can post and share these blogs on different social media platforms. The motive is to acquire some social traffic and get them to visit the blogs or your website.
Further, with the emails collected via blogs and ebooks, the email marketer can approach these prospective customers to share more information about the company.
So, everything is connected to each other in the realm of digital marketing. And that is why it has been said above that you need the right mix of channels and tools to attract new customers and make sure that they reach the end of the buyer’s journey.
Types of Digital Marketing:
Now that you have got some understanding of how digital marketing can help convert a lead to a customer. Let us know about the different types of channels and tactics involved.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is used to help the marketers increase the accrual of organic or free traffic to the website, all the while increasing its rank on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
SEO of a website can be improvised in many ways that can bring organic traffic to your website.
On-Page SEO: On-Page means everything that you can do and improve on your page. This can include research keywords and their search volumes. Taking care of the search intent and user intent. The motive of these steps is to write in a manner that answers the user’s query.
Off-Page SEO: Off-Page means what all you can do to attract more audiences without doing anything with the content on your website. One aspect of Off-Page SEO is using backlinks or inbound links, as you may call it. This is how you can link your website’s blog or article to another article relative to your subject, but it is published on another platform. More the incoming links to your website, and if they are coming from an authority website, your ranking will increase. The end motive is to get others to promote your website with the help of external tactics.
Technical SEO: As the name suggests, this is the technical part of SEO. Precisely, this takes care of the coding part, the image compressions, data structuring, CSS file optimization, and other such aspects. One benefit of keeping a check on these methods is to increase your page load speed. The page loading speed of your website is an important aspect taken into account by Google.
Under Content marketing, the task is to create content with the motive of creating brand awareness, increasing organic traffic, getting new leads, and attracting customers. Here is what you must include in your content marketing strategy:
Blogs: Writing and publishing blogs combined with good SEO practices on your website is a vital aspect of increasing traffic. Blogs help users know your business expertise and make it easy to nurture new leads.
Whitepapers and eBooks: Why should you create such long forms of content? What is the motive? And who will ever read a 20,000-word ebook? If you are asking these inquiries, then you are asking the right. One of the most significant motives to create these long forms of content is to get the contact information from the visitors. Basically, you can ask them to share their contact information (like emails) in exchange for these detailed forms of content.
Infographics: Visually appealing content is more attractive and can share more information in fewer words. More importantly, they are suitable for increasing user engagement. The readers are better able to understand your message.
Social Media Marketing: You must promote your brand on different social media channels. The motive of these channels is similar to what we want with other forms of tools and strategies. That is, increasing brand awareness. Along with this, improving and creating brand awareness and generate leads for the business.
You may use different social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and others that are relevant to your industry and niche.
Yes, it can be a bit complex to use all the social media channels at the same time. In that, you can use tools and solutions that can help you handle various social media channels from one platform.
These platforms also help monitor the traffic and user engagement levels so that you can integrate all the channels in one place and check your messages.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Two entities involved in a PPC campaign. There is the publisher who will run your ads on their platform. It can be Google, Instagram, Facebook, and so on. Then there is the user or the visitor.
What you have to do is ask the publisher to run your ad on their platform. And when the visitor clicks on your ad, then you have to pay the corresponding published some amount.
That is why we have got the name “Pay Per Click.”
Apart from Google, here are a couple of other channels that you can look forward to:
Facebook Ads: As per the set interests, Facebook will show your ad, image post, video, or any other form of content to the members. You will have to pay Facebook a fee when the member clicks on the ad.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is quickly gaining prominence in the field of online advertising and customer outreach. LinkedIn allows you to promote sponsored messages and send them directly to the members. These messages are paid.
Affiliate Marketing is an exciting form of digital marketing strategy. In this, your task will be to promote a product online via different methods only to get more sales for the parent organization. In return for your services, the parent company will pay you a commission.
Two prominent methods of affiliate marketing are:
- Youtube Partner Program
- Generating Affiliate links to share them through your social media accounts.
Native Advertising is a form of promotional strategy that is exercised differently. Under this, you can post content that features on a platform corresponding to other non-paid and generic content. The unique thing is that these ads resemble the non-paid content on a website.
For instance, these ads will show up similar to a blog post preview that you can see on some websites. Buzzfeed is one example.
Automation means that some of your marketing tasks will be executed automatically without looking into it every day. This saves time and lets you target a higher proportion of the market without putting in numerous manual efforts.
For instance, we have:
Emails: Email automation means that you will be able to shoot pseudo-customized emails to a big chunk of the audience. Remember how we discussed that you need to gather emails and contact information from your users. This is where it will come into practice. Automated emails have a set format, but they can be customized to address the receiver with a proper salutation. With Automated email sequencing, you can also add more users or delete some keeping in mind the interest and activities of the users.
Social Media Posts Scheduling: Constant and regular social media posting is also essential to increase the user engagement. Enhancing your social media presence can also help you grow your network. Instead of manual posting, you may schedule posts or use such solutions to regularly post relevant content. Of course, you will have to prepare the posts beforehand.
Lead Nurturing emails: Once you have generated a lead, it is essential to nurture it so that it converts into a customer. For this, you will need to provide a continuous workflow of emails. These emails will be action-specific. This means that they will pop in the user’s inbox after they have taken a specific action.
Emails are used to initiate a constant connection with the users. The communication between the organization and the audience has to be rekindled regularly. On some days, you can send them some blog, a new article related to your industry, some infographic, promotional content, discount coupons, offers, and whatnot.
Online Public Relations
Online PR involves all the activities that you would do on the ground level. Still, this time, these steps are executed on the web. This may include blogs, publications, sending emails, making connections, among others.
Here are a few propositions that you can implement under Online PR:
Outreach to the Press Reporters: You can use Social Media to initiate contact with the journalists. One example is using twitter to make new connections with the journalists or reporters. Develop a working relationship with them and leverage the media opportunities for your business.
Online Reviews: Online reviews, be it good or bad, provides the evidence of your authenticity. When the users post reviews about your organization, it is best not to tamper with them. An authentic and untouched online review brings in the human factor in your organization. Of course, too many bad reviews are never good for business.
Inbound Marketing is the whole gamut of strategies and methods that are used by them to interact with the customer. Remember your buyer’s journey. Now you need to interact with the customers at every single stage of this buyer’s journey.
From all the methods that you have read above, you can use any of them to increase your engagement with the customers. Remember that you need to create tactics that resonate with the customer’s demands and needs.
A few things that you can do under Inbound Marketing are:
- Video marketing
This is a strategy wherein you can ask some other already established brand or entity to promote your business on their channels. This can also be called Sponsored content.
Is Digital Marketing a Universal Concept?
Here is another important question that needs to be answered, will digital marketing work for my business or for any type of business, for that matter.
The answer is Yes, Digital Marketing can be used for any industry, any business, any organization. As long as there are consumers for your product or service, and they are present online, you can use any strategy of digital marketing.
Start building buyer personas of your users or consumers. Understand what they are looking for. In the end, this will help you create bespoke online content for promotions.
Pro Tip: Do not imitate other businesses’ digital marketing strategies. Their buyer persona may be different from yours. What worked for them may not work for you. So, it is better to understand your customer and then create content that resonates with them best.
Here we are going to discuss two significant forms of Digital Marketing:
B2B Digital Marketing: B2B marketing takes birth to help the salespeople of both the companies to interact with each other. Your content will be created, keeping in mind what the buyer organization is looking for. More importantly, you may need to create content that is good for a specific segment of the company’s procedures.
For instance, you may have created a software to help companies streamline their inventory management. In that, your product will need to enhance such features and solve problems that the inventory managers face at present. Taking this as a heading, you can create content that also signifies how your product will be beneficial to the company on the whole.
For good B2B leads, you can look towards LinkedIn wherein you can interact with the professionals related to your niche and industry. LinkedIn ads for your product or service is an integral part of B2B digital marketing.
B2C Marketing: B2C marketing involves a more specific and nuanced form of marketing. Because here, you are interacting with the consumer directly. There is no one representing the consumer.
B2C marketing initiates a connection with the customer, brings them to your website, nurtures them, and finally convinces them to make a purchase. In technical terms, it can be called an Accelerated Buyer’s Journey. This means that you are providing enough fuel to the consumers to push them from one stage to another.
Remember that B2C marketing strategies need to be more proficient and need to be more detailed. The CTAs have to be stronger than what you may have for the B2B strategy.
For B2C marketing prefer using Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Digital Marketing for my Business, Will it work?
Imagine that you have put an advertisement in the newspaper for your new business or product. Yes, you can choose one of the most popular newspapers in the city. It may have lakhs of subscribers.
But, does that mean you will have lakhs of new leads generated within a week. Not necessarily. You may get 1 lakh leads, or you may not get even one. The catch is that you won’t even come to know how many people have interacted with your advertisement.
On the other hand, you have digital marketing. A strategy that will help you track every single click on your ad. Who clicked on it, what was the location, how long did the lead interact with your ad, and much more.
Let’s discuss a few of them:
Traffic on the Website: With the help of smart analytics, you will get an exact number of visitors who land on your website. Along with this, you can know:
- How long were they on your website?
- How many pages and, more importantly, which pages did a lead visit?
- What device were they using?
- Which other pages did they visit?
You will get a complete journey of your leads. These analytics are so detailed that you can clearly understand which at step did the visitor bounce back. For instance, if there are 7 stages that will lead to a lead from the landing page to making the payment, and the customer leaves the website on the 5th stage.
With this, you can easily develop a customer-specific strategy to re-initiate customer interaction and nurture the lead to the last buying stage.
Other than this, you can also get to know which marketing channels are performing better. For example, if you see that only 10 to 15% of organic traffic is coming to a website, then you need to pump up your SEO strategy.
On the other hand, if you see that some of your ads are not interacting well or not generating leads. You can change those ads or remove them entirely and increase the outreach of those ads which are performing well.
Did you understand the difference now?
On the one hand, there are the traditional marketing strategies that work offline, and you will not have any concrete data to understand its performance. On the other, there is digital marketing. Wherein you will get every bit of data about the performance of your blogs, campaigns, ads, sponsored posts, emails, videos, and everything else.